Nigel started to cross the street just as the car pulled out of the bar's parking lot. When it hit him, he rolled across the hood, banging into the windshield before landing in a heap on the pavement. The driver slammed on his brakes and seconds later was out of his vehicle. Kneeling beside Nigel, he said, "Oh my God, are you all right? I didn't see you. I'm sorry, I'm sorry."
Nigel struggled to sit up, shaking his head as a crowd began to gather. An authoritative voice said, "I'm a doctor. Let me take a look."
Vaughn joined the driver, hunching down, running his hands expertly over Nigel, searching for any damage. "You need to call your insurance company," he finally said to the driver.
"How bad—" The driver looked panicked, which was small wonder since his breath smelled strongly of beer.
"He should go to a hospital. I don't think he's badly hurt but that's just from a cursory check," Vaughn replied.
"Look," the driver said, turning to Nigel, "would you—I don't want to—if I paid you, would you forget this happened? I can't afford to talk to the cops, I mean—" He looked around as if expecting them to show up any second now. "I have some money on me." He pulled out his wallet.
Nigel stood, with Vaughn's help, wincing in bogus pain. "I guess," he said hesitantly. "It depends if it's enough to cover the hospital visit."
The driver quickly pulled out some bills, not even looking at them as he handed them to Nigel.
Nigel resisted smiling as he counted them out. "I think this should do."
With a sigh of relief the driver thanked him for understanding the predicament he would have been in. Then he hurried around to get back in his car, wiping a hand across his sweaty forehead.
A woman in the small crowd of onlookers stepped forward to ask Nigel in a concerned voice, "Do you need a ride to the hospital?"
He smiled weakly, moving out of the way as the man who'd hit him backed up and then drove slowly, carefully, away. "If you don't mind."
"I wouldn't have offered if I did." Page turned to Vaughn. "Could you help him? I'm parked in that lot over there." She pointed to one across the street from where they stood.
Vaughn nodded, putting an arm around Nigel's waist. As they moved toward the parking lot, the crowd began dispersing.
Page grinned, adjusting her bag on her shoulder as she hurried on ahead of them. "We done good," she told them moments later when they'd gone through the lot to the alley. "I so love crowd scenes."
"That man was loaded. I wonder if he even realizes how much he gave me." Nigel handed the cash, over five-hundred dollars, to Page. She stuffed it in her bag next to the wallets she'd lifted from various onlookers while they watched what was happening.
"Job well done." Vaughn smiled at his lovers. "Let's go home, change, and then celebrate with a good dinner out."